Frequently Asked Questions

How long or how many hours did it take you to  make that?

This is one of the first questions, usually asked by a buyer for his/her  
reference as to  the value of the piece. Some items take considerably
longer than others . The time may be in development, fixture fabrication or
in actual production or a combination of all.  I have no actual formula that
directly relates value to time and do not punch a time clock.. Each piece
carries  it’s  own value and may or may not reflect any actual “time” it took
to create. A lifetime of skill development along with talent has been
incorporated into each piece. I love designing and making them and expect
any buyer to equally enjoy owning one.

What kind of finish do you use?

I use a variety of finishes depending on the product and the woods in use—
Lacquer, polyurethane, friction coatings, tung oil, sealers  and different
compositions of shellac are the most prominent. In all cases, there are
multiple coats, sanded between coats, and the finish process takes several
days.  I do NOT use paste fillers.

What kind of maintenance should I expect?  
First and foremost, all of my pieces are natural wood. Wood will darken
naturally over time.  Never place wood in direct sunlight, as it will darken
quickly and the contrasting pieces will lose their effects.
Natural enemies to these products are heat and moisture. Multiple woods
have multiple coefficients of expansion. The greater the heat variant, the
more tension on the joints between wood pieces and the more likely a split.
Moisture has an expanding effect and different woods expand at different
rates. This will cause tension at the joints also.  In short—keep the piece out
of direct sunlight and at as constant of thermal and humidity condition as
possible. Keep as dust free as possible and if needs “sprucing up” dust
with a wax such as “pledge” just as you would with furniture

Do you stain, paint or dye your woods?

NO!!  All the wood in my pieces is natural. I never use stains, paints or
dyes—my motto is “thou shall Knot stain dye or paint wood.”  I feel that
wood has a particular beauty of its own. Each piece is unique

How do you design your pieces?

I have 2 CAD programs that I use to completely detail what I need to do in
the shop before I ever start production of an item. In a lot of cases I will
spend more time on the computer than in the shop. There is a lot of math
involved in many of the pieces I produce and without the front end design
effort they would not be possible.

What woods do you use and where do you get them?   
Most of the woods I use are what is classified as "exotic"---my 3
domestic staples are Cherry, walnut, and maple.  The rest come from
around the world.  My choices for a piece are based on color and grain.  
For this reason I have my own stock of various woods and others that
can be ordered.  I have over the years collected many exotic varieties
and use them in the pieces I do

Do you do commissioned work with client involvement?

Certainly!   As a matter of fact one the most pleasures I get is doing a
piece that involves fulfilling the expectations of a client. The creation of
a design that pleases a client is a process of its own. A really neat
experience is to include wood from a client (eg old high chair, or
grandfathers cane) that has a special meaning, in the piece.   From
sketches to prints to product development. As with all my pieces, if a
client is not satisfied, all monies will be refunded (assuming no damage
and piece is returned within 60 days  of receipt). This policy is in force
regardless of the piece.

How did you make that?
Each item I make, for the most part, is made differently as there are
many variables that go into the design. Generally, each item is made
from individual pieces that are cut, shaped and assembled individually.
There are no "shortcuts". To cut, shape and assemble each piece with
the precision that is necessary requires a lot of fixtures. This is the key
to successful production. I will spend as much, or more time working
with  the fixtures and the tools as I will actually making the item. The  
simple answer here is one piece at a time

What math is involved in making a vessel such as a vase?
Actually  a little more than perhaps is realized --each ring has
it's own parameters,  of course the diameter, number of
segments and in the case of open segmentation, the ratio
representing secant coverage vs open. If there is a transition
between number of segments or the depth of the segment vs
diameter, there will be a mathematical resultant in segment
dimensions. Both the secant and the angular alignment. This
may seem a little technical but is all necessary to product
development. I have just mentioned a few here there are many
others depending on exactly what elements I am constructing.
I can produce any vessel from 1 to 144 segments per ring in
any combination. The key is product design. My shop has
fixtures to cover most variations. If it doesn't, order one and it
What inspires you?
There is no singular answer to that question but mostly, I
would have to say, is the challenge. Almost always as I am
making a piece I see combinations and variations that present
new possibilities in future designs. I don't think I have ever
made 2 pieces alike and don't do "production" pieces for the
very reason that in my next piece I almost invariably
incorporate that which I thought about in the previous piece or
pieces. Look at my pieces and you will see what I am
describing. Another factor motivating me is the favorable
response I get from a new owner of one of my pieces.
Something I did has given pleasure to another person. It
doesn't get any better than that. That is my goal, to contribute
to others in ways that my talents allow me to.  That alone is
inspiration and makes the effort worthwhile and
co-incidentally, one heckua lot of FUN!

When packaging and shipping are necessary, I use a local
(Lexington, KY)  merchant that deals directly with the buyer.
This merchant is responsiblefor packaging and obtaining
the carrier and is paid directly by the buyer. This way he is
directly responsible for the item and handles all insurance
issues, delivery deadlines, carrier choices etc.
Copyright © 2019 Gary Graham Wood Art
All rights reserved